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Howard v. Patterson

United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division

August 27, 2014

MICHAEL LAMAR HOWARD, Petitioner
v.
TONY PATTERSON, Warden, and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA, Respondents

MEMORANDUM OPINION

MADELINE HUGHES HAIKALA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

On May 1, 2014, the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation was entered and the parties were allowed therein fourteen (14) days in which to file objections to the recommendations made by the magistrate judge. On May 13, 2014, petitioner filed objections to the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation.

After careful consideration of the record in this case and the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation and the petitioner’s objections thereto, the Court hereby ADOPTS the report of the magistrate judge. The Court further ACCEPTS the recommendations of the magistrate judge that the petition for writ of habeas corpus be denied.

Pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, the Court has evaluated the claims within the petition for suitability for the issuance of a certificate of appealability (COA). See 28 U.S.C. § 2253.

Rule 22(b) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure provides that when an appeal is taken by a petitioner, the district judge who rendered the judgment “shall” either issue a COA or state the reasons why such a certificate should not issue. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2), a COA may issue only when the petitioner “has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” This showing can be established by demonstrating that “reasonable jurists could debate whether (or for that matter, agree that) the petition should have been resolved in a different manner” or that the issues were “adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484, 120 S.Ct. 1595, 1603-04, 146 L.Ed.2d 542 (2000) (citing Barefoot v. Estelle, 463 U.S. 880, 893 & n.4, 103 S.Ct. 3383, 3394-95 & n.4, 77 L.Ed.2d 1090 (1983)). For procedural rulings, a COA will issue only if reasonable jurists could debate whether the petition states a valid claim of the denial of a constitutional right and whether the court’s procedural ruling was correct. Id.

The Court finds that reasonable jurists could not debate its resolution of the claims presented in this habeas corpus petition. For the reasons stated in the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation, the Court DECLINES to issue a COA with respect to any claims. Mr. Howard may request a COA directly from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals if he wishes to challenge this Court’s decision. Fed. R. App. P. 22(b).

A separate order in conformity with this Memorandum Opinion will be entered contemporaneously herewith.


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